Down with the fake news.
The Egyptian Parliament has approved on Monday the final bill which gives the Egyptian Media Supreme Council the right to regulate social media users with more than 5,000 followers. This applies to personal accounts, bloggers, and websites alike.
The bill was issued to combat “fake news,” according to the legislature. It states that the Supreme Council has rights to suspend or block any account which incites violence, hatred, violating the law. The bill is yet to be ratified by President Abdelfatah Al-Sisi.
While this might sound like good news to the two thirds of the parliament who've approved the bill, the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) in Egypt has expressed its concerns regarding this new bill. “Every citizen will think 1,000 times before they can write a post in which they criticise the actions of the government or the regime,” said Mohamed Abdelsalam - Director of Research at AFTE.
Abdelsalam advised social media companies to “reject the practices of the Egyptian government and stand on the side of the rights (of citizens) and civil society organisations.”
Egypt ranks 161 out of 180 in the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index.
Main image taken from News24.